When it comes to K-dramas currently airing on Korean cable channels, the one that is standing out is Goblin. Also known as Goblin: The Lonely and Great God and Guardian: The Lonely and Great God, the Total Variety Network (tvN) drama starring Gong Yoo and Kim Go Eun is dominating all other dramas airing this winter season. If you were to adjust the viewership ratings of Korean public channels and Korean cable channels, Goblin would even surpass the two Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS) K-dramas currently airing at this moment, The Legend of the Blue Sea and Romantic Doctor, Teacher Kim.
Goblin earned its place way before it aired its first episode. It was the K-drama return of Gong Yoo. His last full acting gig was in Big opposite Lee Min Jung in 2012. Even before that, he starred in Coffee Prince, opposite Yoon Eun Hye, and that was in 2007. There are huge stretches of time between his K-dramas, which is a tactic, as fans clamor for his return. This led to Goblin surpassing Reply 1988 in first episode viewership ratings. Eventually, this was followed up with Goblin dominating other top K-dramas in content power index popularity.
Now more than halfway through the K-drama, Goblin has broken another record, and it is a personal one for tvN. The series now has surpassed Signal in overall viewership ratings making it the second highest overall.
From what was provided by the viewership ratings from AGB Nielsen Korea, the ninth episode, which aired on December 30, recorded in average rating of 13.3 percent for the Seoul National Capital Area with its highest-rated moment coming in at 15.4 percent. For the viewership ratings company, this is the second highest viewership ratings ever recorded of all tvN K-dramas, as reported by AllKpop.
Right now, the record for the highest viewership ratings not just for tvN, but all Korean cable television, is held by another tvN K-drama, Reply 1988. The third installment in the Reply series was able to earn up to 18 percent in viewership ratings with its highest-rated scenes, surpassing 20 percent, as reported by Soompi. Given that Goblin still has six more episodes until it concludes, it has more than enough time to take first place. The only thing working in favor of Reply 1988 is the fact it is technically a longer series by four episodes. That gave the drama wiggle room to improve its viewership. Goblin does not have that luxury.
Ultimately, the fact that Goblin needs to beat tvN K-dramas that aired this year to break records shows just how successful a year that tvN had. Most of the popular dramas that aired on Korean television, or were popular internationally, were tvN dramas. Starting with Reply 1988, it was followed up with Cheese in the Trap, Signal, Another Oh Hae Young, Let’s Fight Ghost, Drinking Solo, Signal, Dear My Friends, The Good Wife, The K2, and Cinderella and the Four Knights. Entourage, Memory, and Pied Piper did not do as well as the others, but they still did better in general over other K-dramas airing on Korean cable channels.
Goblin airs on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. KST on tvN. For those who do not have access to Korean cable channels, it is exclusive on DramaFever by its other title Goblin: The Lonely and Great God, but can only be viewed by Premium members from the third episode onward. As for everywhere else, especially in Europe, it is available on Viki.
[Featured Image by Total Variety Network (tvN)]